Mar 25, 2012; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Timberwolves forward Kevin Love (42) against the Denver Nuggets at the Target Center. The Timberwolves defeated the Nuggets 117-100. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-US PRESSWIRE
The Sacramento Kings have missed the NBA playoffs in six straight seasons. That's the league's second-longest current streak, behind the Minnesota Timberwolves' eight. The Golden State Warriors and Brooklyn Nets follow the Kings will five-season droughts. Two more teams, the Toronto Raptors and Washington Wizards, have four-season droughts.
And from my vantage point, all of those teams are closer to the playoffs than the Kings are.
I know there's some optimism about the 2012-13 Kings around here, but I tend to skew toward section214's take that the improvement isn't enough to launch the team anywhere close to .500 for the season. Thomas Robinson isn't going to produce nearly as quickly as we'd hope, in all likelihood, and James Johnson and Aaron Brooks aren't quite Manna From Heaven type additions, though they'll help. The issue isn't how the Kings handled the offseason. I thought it was good overall. The issue is how far the Kings have to go before they reach "decent."
The Wolves should be in the playoff mix if Ricky Rubio comes back fairly early. I think Andrei Kirilenko will help a ton. I was pretty nonplussed about Minnesota's offseason until they landed AK. That's a coup. Contributions from Chase Budinger, Alexey Shved and Brandon Roy could help even more. This should be a playoff contender. Getting there would hand the longest drought honors to Sacramento. It will look nice on our mantle next to our "longest franchise championship drought" trophy.
The Warriors aren't as close as the Wolves, in my opinion, but that could change due to Andrew Bogut, a superlative defensive center. Golden State is a mystery until we see what they can do with Bogey. The Nets, of course, will almost assuredly make the playoffs, barring a disastrous injury to Deron Williams. The Raptors should be much better with Kyle Lowry, and the Wizards looked strong after acquiring Nene, and will add Emeka Okafor to the frontcourt.
So not only could the Kings have the league's longest playoff drought in April ... but they could be far, far ahead of the pack. This is not good.